September 18th, 2015

NDP MPP for Hamilton East-Stoney Creek Paul Miller issued the following statement on U.S. Steel’s intention to seek court order

“It is without question an outrage that U.S. Steel intends – if allowed – to suspend all obligations to pay post-employment benefits – health, medical, dental, and life insurance in order to pad the pockets of its U.S. parent company. 

These benefits are depended on by the company’s retirees and their survivors, people who’ve spent 30-40 years in many cases, giving their all to a company in a town that once proudly led the world in steel production. These benefits are deferred wages – negotiated through collective agreements – not handouts.

And the hits keep coming. The company no longer wants to be on the hook for its property taxes to the city of Hamilton for the vast tracts of land it occupies. Already in 2014 U.S. Steel only paid $5.9 million in total taxes – including money meant for our schools. That’s down from the $10.5 million it paid when it took over the former Stelco operations in the still secret deal, and now they want to pay nothing.

I am outraged by the handling of this issue by Prime Minister Harper and the Conservative federal government. They allowed the time limit to expire to take U.S. Steel back to court to enforce this deal. It is mind-boggling that Canadian citizens cannot get access to the secret deal signed between the federal government and U.S. Steel. It is unconscionable that the federal government won’t enforce the contractual agreement with U.S. Steel and is allowing this company to bully it, and it is a disgrace that the federal government is not standing up for the people of Hamilton, Nanticoke and surrounding areas.  

I call on the provincial government to step up in this credit restructuring process and halt the continued raid of the Canadian U.S. Steel operations in Hamilton and Nanticoke.”